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The Network of Executive Women (NEW) is out with a new study suggesting that “the turnover rate among women, especially women executives, in retail and consumer goods is much higher than among men.”

The study goes on: “Turnover rates for women in the industry overall are significantly higher for women than men (31 percent vs. 24 percent) … hampering efforts to achieve gender equality. The turnover rate increases at higher job levels. Women first- and mid-level managers leave at nearly double the rate of their male peers, 24 percent vs. 13 percent at the companies surveyed. The turnover rate for senior executive and C-suite level women is nearly four times that of men -- 27 percent vs. 7 percent.”

The findings, NEW says, are based on a survey of more than 3,600 NEW members and U.S. retail and consumer goods industry employees, plus hiring, promotion and turnover data from eight leading companies representing more than 400,000 employees. The study was done in partnership with Mercer and Accenture.

The report, entitled "The Female Leadership Crisis,” identifies “four main reasons for the disparity in turnover between senior-level men and women: Women feel isolated; favoritism and bias is embedded in corporate cultures; women do not feel supported in new roles; and work/life issues are taking a toll.”

NEW president/CEO Sarah Alter says that “to turn the tide on female leadership, organizations must boldly commit to gender equality, transform their corporate cultures and institute effective new programs and policies.

And Beth Marrion, managing director, retail for Accenture as well as a NEW board member, says that "unless companies act now to tear down barriers to gender diversity and inclusion, the percentage of women executives at the participating companies is projected to drop precipitously, from 35 percent today to an alarming 15 percent by 2027.”
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